The Saiga Antelope (Saiga tatarica) is a critically endangered ungulate (hoofed) mammal.
The Saiga Antelope has yellow-to reddish fur in summer and grey-brown fur in winter. It has longer hair in winter than in summer. It has a long mane of hair on its neck. It has a big, rounded nose with closely-spaced nostrils. It has long ears. Only the male has horns, which are thick with 12-20 rings.
It grows to 61-81 centimetres (24-32 inches) at shoulder height and 100-140 centimetres (39-55 inches) long. Its ears are 7-12 centimetres (3-5 inches) in length. The male’s horns can grow to 28-38 centimetres (11-15 inches) long.
The Saiga Antelope is native to Russia and Kazakhstan. In winter, it migrates south to Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. It used to be native to a wider area across Eurasia.
It prefers semi-deserts, steppes, and grasslands. It does not like steep and mountainous regions.
It eats plants and vegetation. Its predators include wolves, foxes, eagles, dogs, and ravens.
It forms herds of up to 50 individuals. It can travel for long distances, and can also swim across rivers.
The female gives birth to one live young, called a calf.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM